US: Tennessee judge refuses to halt order to recognise three same-sex marriages

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A Tennessee judge has refused to stay a ruling ordering the state to recognise some same-sex marriages.

Last week, Judge Aleta Trauger ordered Tennessee to recognise the marriages of three same-sex couples who married out-of-state.

After the state’s governor gave notice that he was to appeal the ruling, it was expected that Judge Trauger would grant a stay, meaning the marriages could not be recognised until the conclusion of the appeal.

However, the judge has instead refused to grant a stay, noting that recognising the marriages before appeal is unlikely to harm “because the plaintiffs are likely to succeed”, while “harms to the plaintiffs from continued enforcement of the Anti-Recognition Laws would be substantial and irreparable”.

She also noted that so far the ruling does not “not open the floodgates for same-sex couples to marry in Tennessee”, merely ordering the states to recognise three marriages immediately.

On Wednesday, a Kentucky judge opted to put a ruling on hold just two days before the state was due to begin to recognise same-sex marriage, after an eleventh-hour appeal.

Rulings in favour of same-sex marriage are currently stayed in four states, where opponents could drag out lengthy appeals processes.